We love winter weddings so much that we got married in December. We love their cosy feel, the twinkly lights and, sometimes, snow! This winter we got two chances to play in the snow with our couples thanks to the Beast from the East. Read on for some winter wedding planning inspiration and a taster of what we got up to.
We met Sophie & Bryn back in January 2014 at the Knebworth Wedding Show, so it was lovely to finally catch up with them on a crisp autumnal day for a walk. Many of you will know we love a pre-wedding shoot which involves walking a dog or two, and this was no exception. What was perfect though was the most incredible sunlight, we really couldn’t have wanted a better day and this was definitely one of those afternoons when we couldn’t believe we were at work! We’re looking forward to their wedding, our first at the quaint White Horse Hotel in Hertingfordbury, and let’s hope the snow sticks around.
Winter woodland pre-wedding shoot by Hertfordshire wedding photographer Lina and Tom
A simple tweet on the 3rd January;
Naturally this started a social media frenzy. Gary Barlow, sentimental lead singer of 90s boy band legends Take That, reinvented as mature husband-types in the noughties, would like to sing at three fans weddings. The ultimate wedding singer, right?
Two more tweets followed in the next minute. ‘The only deal is they have to be HUGE fans’
The third tweet I read as a bit sinister. ‘And all you have to do is stalk me on here’ Am I the only one that reads that with Gary Barlow doing a low, seedy, Danny Dyer type voice?
To hardcore fans of Take That, many at an age where they are now all grown up and doing the house and marriage thing, this is obviously a dream come true. Because Gary Barlow would be the ULTIMATE wedding singer to impress your mates wouldn’t he? Actually, NO!
Now don’t get me wrong there super-fans, I am not a Take That or Gary Barlow hater. I had a brief spell of liking them in, ooo ’91?, and there recent stuff is damn catchy. Good old ‘Never Forget’ is a great end of the night staple at weddings, as Greatest Day is for first dances, so my stance is purely based on the fact that I am a fan of great weddings.
This may sound like the most amazing opportunity for the lucky three, but trust me on this one, you do not want Gary Barlow to sing at your wedding. Your wedding is about YOU. Your love for each other and your amazing party. This would be a sure fire way to kill your wedding reception. Instead of everyone dancing along to a fab band, your reception becomes a Gary Barlow gig, everyone will be sat watching, not doing anything, bar the people who hate him so they will slope off to the bar, or outside, to get away. Yes you may get your face in the paper, but your wedding then becomes part of the GB PR machine and it is no longer about you. The best weddings we have shot are when the first dance happens and then everyone storms the dancefloor, there will be none of this when old Gazza plays, people will probably just watch politely. How dull. So don’t do it. Yes it sounds amazing, but it will be false optimism. Choose a fantastic band or DJ (or both) who will rock your reception and do as we did, dance your bloomin’ socks off!
For many people, the vision of an English wedding contains imagery of spring flowers and bunting, or bright marquees and supping champagne in the hazy summer sunshine, but I think there is a lot to be said for the fantastic warm glow and glamour of a winter wedding, and we love them. I have occasionally found myself fantasizing over Pinterest about a sparking and silvery winter wonderland wedding with twinkly lights and guests in ball gowns…
Anyway, enough of my theatrical mind, if you have no preference on time of year, it’s definitely worth considering a winter wedding. For starters, many venues and suppliers consider the winter months as low season so you can make some great savings compared to getting married in the summer. Also, let’s be realistic, here in the UK you just can’t predict the weather, even in the height of summer, so it makes sense whenever you choose your date to pick a venue that looks great on the inside as well as outside. For a winter wedding, this is even more important, as the last thing you want to have is a less desirable wet weather option. We’ve shot at venues with fantastic outdoor weather options, but if it rains you find yourself saying ‘I do’ in a conference room – probably not what you had in mind. When choosing, look for a venue that you would be happy spending the whole day indoors. Ask the venue if they have any albums of winter wedding photography so you can see where group photos ended up being taken for example.
When it comes to winter wedding photography, we also keep an eye on the weather and on the light. Whereas in the summer, marrying at three or four in the afternoon still works well for your reception drinks and group shots, anything later than two from October to February will have you fighting against the setting sun. Low winter light looks gorgeous though, so choose a photographer who will thrive in the conditions and not just flash away because it’s getting dark.
When we are shooting a winter wedding, we have a careful consideration for our couple and all their guests, so if it is a particularly cold or damp day, we will advise against dragging them outside for your group photos, and endeavour to chose an indoor position if the couple are happy, bar the big group shot if possible. Saying that, we have persuaded a venue to let us do an indoor group confetti shot before!
Even if it is chilly or raining, we still like to take the bride and groom outside if they are willing, as raindrops look very pretty, especially in low light. If you are worried about getting cold in your wedding dress it’s also a fantastic excuse to treat yourself to a luxurious faux fur stole or shrug, although many of our winter brides find adrenaline kicks in and they don’t get cold at all.
A winter wedding also allows you to create an atmosphere with your theme, maybe it’s ice whites and berries, or go all out and get Christmassy with your decor. On a chilly December day consider swapping canapés and champagne for mince pies and mulled wine as a warming treat after your ceremony. Whatever you choose, your guests will surely be in party mood especially if it is close to Christmas, as your party can really kick off their party season!
#Choose a venue that will look great if you stay indoors all day
#Make sure your photographer has different options for your wedding photos
#Have some sort of shrug or jacket for over your dress in case you get cold
#Think about bringing seasonal touches into your decor and menu
Feeling inspired? Take a look at these fantastic winter weddings…